Educating for
Beauty and Wisdom

Scala was founded in 2016 by Margarita Mooney Clayton, a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary. Scala engages in deep work with students at Princeton and Oxford to bring together artists, students, teachers, and scholars. Scala also produces publications (books, blogs, articles, interviews) and hosts public events like conferences, webinars, artistic events, and campus lectures open to the public. Scala’s activities are led by internationally renowned artists and prestigious scholars united by a desire to reinvigorate the sacred and classical arts.

Why Beauty and Wisdom?

The Scala Foundation’s vision is to restore meaning and purpose to American culture by focusing on the intersection of art, liturgy, and education.

Who We Are

Beauty awakens our desire to know. Through art, poetry, liturgy, natural beauty, and friendship, beauty can inspire students to become lifelong learners. Reason and open debate cultivate inspiration until it becomes wisdom. That is why Scala’s vision is attentive to the human longing for beauty, meaning, friendship and belonging.

Wisdom is the fruit of education. It is the hard-won power to judge rightly in service of our communities and our world. It includes knowledge, but goes beyond knowledge to incorporate experience and virtue.

Scala’s vision begins with the truth that humans are a unity of mind, body, and soul. Educating in beauty and wisdom ensures that the liberal arts form the body and the soul along with mind. Beauty and wisdom, almost forgotten in today’s modern society, are crucial to a good, well-ordered, holistic education.

Scala is the Latin word for ladder. A ladder needs a stable foundation: for Scala, that means being firmly based in community life that holds us steady as we climb to contemplate eternal truths.

The two sides of a ladder symbolize the need for balance between body and soul. The steps of the ladder represent the hard but necessary ascent to wisdom.

Scala’s Strategy to Renew Culture

Scala’s programs concentrate on pivotal agents of cultural renewal such as:

  • Early-career professionals who are in training to become teachers, scholars, artists, writers, intellectuals, and culture-creators
  • Major decision-makers in education and culture, such as university administrators and K-12 school leaders
  • Educational entrepreneurs looking to found new schools, colleges, and curricular programs
  • Artists and culture creators (writers, painters, musicians, architects, etc) who feed our culture’s hunger for beauty and wisdom

Scala’s student groups, seminars, conferences, artistic events, summer programs and online resources support educators and culture creators.

Be inspired by educators who build community with people pursuing the way of beauty



Meet internationally renowned artists and prestigious scholars and  experience beautiful sacred music, art, and architecture


Form the next generation of students in sacred and classical arts and support cultural entrepreneurs renewing civic participation

From the Executive Director

I started Scala because I believe that restoring liberal arts education, grounded in beauty and wisdom, is crucial to renewing our culture.

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